See More on Facebook


Which way are Sino-US ties headed?

The US has listed China as a strategic competitor and the Sino-US economic/trade conflict is a clear manifestation of this categorization.

Written by

Updated: October 9, 2019

Bidding farewell to 40 years of friendship, some in the United States want to replace cooperation with competition as the tone of Sino-US ties in future.

At present, with right-wing conservatism and nationalism peaking, the US has listed China as a strategic competitor, and the recent Sino-US economic and trade conflict is a clear manifestation of this accusation.

The US has adopted a flurry of radical and inappropriate policies and measures to counter China, exposing Washington’s short-term overanxiety. Whenever the US calms down, Beijing and Washington will return to seeking rational major power relations, but it will take time.

The US should not hold the unrealistic expectation that trade negotiations can resolve all major issues and concerns between the two countries. The current trade negotiations are the first ones opened under the threat of tariffs. The difficulty is unprecedented.

It is even more difficult to resolve anything in months if the negotiations cover issues like tariff and non-tariff barriers, investment and market access, agriculture and the service industry, intellectual property protection, technology transfer, exchange rates and enforcement mechanisms.

The US should not set an unrealistic negotiation schedule, which reflects its anxiousness and greed for success. It should recognize that it is impossible to find a complete solution to structural problems in the short term. It is also unrealistic to expect trade negotiations to resolve all major issues and concerns between the two countries.

The Sino-US economic and trade negotiations could head in one of three directions.

The first is the resumption of negotiations and conclusion of an agreement in the coming months, something the market expects. China and the US are complementary in terms of economy and trade. In fact, economic sectors of both countries as well as the global market expect a trade agreement acceptable to both sides to emerge in the near future.

However, this scenario will emerge only if the two countries truly respect each other and hold realistic targets. It is particularly crucial for the two sides to arrive at an agreement on the elimination of punitive tariffs and on implementation mechanisms.

In the second scenario, negotiations could lead to a stalemate. The negotiations could continue till next year. China and the US might require a long time to arrive at an agreement.

During this period, the US will maintain tariffs on US$250 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China will continue to implement countermeasures. The US is likely to impose tariffs on another US$300 billion worth of Chinese goods and crackdown on Chinese technology companies to maximize pressure.

The Chinese side will continue to maintain rational restraint, but the economies of both China and the US will suffer continuous damage, and the global economy will continue to face uncertainty.

In the third scenario, it might be difficult for China and the US to arrive at an economic and trade agreement approved by both sides. The US will continue to implement a hawkish policy and impose punitive tariffs on all Chinese goods. China will be forced to adopt comprehensive countermeasures.

In such a scenario, the Sino-US economic and trade conflict will not only undermine the economic growth of China and the US, but will also bring horrific damage to the global economy.

China must work hard toward the best situation, but at the same time it must prepare for the worst. In the past year, China responded rationally to unilateral actions by the US, taking countermeasures on the same scale. But it also actively sought dialogue, consultation and negotiation. The Chinese side also conveyed to the US that if it wants to fight, China will accompany it to the end.

China has the confidence to fight the US because it boasts an enormous manufacturing capacity and a large global market share and holds the interests of US companies in China as a bargaining chip.

Sino-US competition in the high-tech industry is normal market competition. But the US is trying in vain to combat the development of China’s high-tech industry by imposing higher tariffs.

On the one hand, China’s high-tech products are exported not only to the US market but also to the global market.

On the other hand, China’s high-tech industry development has its own unique development track and characteristics, and is supported by China’s comprehensive industrial system. In recent years, with the expansion of R&D investment from the government and enterprises, China’s overall innovation and R&D capabilities have been continuously enhanced.

The US trying to slow down the development of China’s high-tech industry with tariff policies can only stimulate China’s indigenous innovation capability and increase its efforts to expand the global market.

Economic globalization means that the global trade order and economic order are of paramount importance. China currently advocates maintaining the existing order and promoting World Trade Organization reform.

China, together with its global value chain partners, will jointly safeguard the multilateral trading system.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

China Daily
About the Author: China Daily covers domestic and world news through nine print editions and digital media worldwide.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here


How governments can manage the risks of digitalisation without hindering innovation

The world is moving towards an algorithmic economy, which depends largely on data and data-driven innovation. The United States Embassy in Hà Nội yesterday held a discussion on data mobilisation and how authorities can manage the risks of digitalisation without hindering innovation. The speaker of the event, Daniel Castro, vice president at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and director of ITIF’s Center for Data Innovation, said in the past 10 years, the world had been shifting to a data-based economy. “The economy has been focused on mobile technologies, big data analytics technologies, and social networks,” Castro said. In the latest trend, the world is now moving towards an algorithmic economy with new technologies such as AI, the Internet of Things, blockchain, etc. In this stage, the economy depends largely on data and data-driven innovation, whi

By Viet Nam News
October 11, 2019


Securing the future of quality journalism

Credible content that audiences value and new sources of revenue needed to sustain newsrooms. The poster boy for robust health in the media industry used to have decidedly Indian features. Even as their counterparts elsewhere languished, Indian media houses were once busy launching new titles, snapping up journalists and boosting orders for newsprint, bucking global trends several years ago. Today, sadly, a pall appears to have settled over many of these newsrooms. “We need to change… we are playing catch-up now,” one top Indian editor told me at a dinner on the sidelines of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers’ (Wan-Ifra) India Conference last Wednesday. Lacklustre advertising during recent festive seasons has taken a toll on print advertising revenues, as circulations slide, he says. Like many others, he laments

By Asia News Network
September 23, 2019


Challenges loom for Asia’s digital landscape

An overview of digital strategies across Asia in light of the first ever annual Digital Economy Report released by UNCTAD last week. Last week, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released its first ever annual Digital Economy Report (2019). It came at a time when countries across Asia have been grappling with a complex digital future. Digital technologies help cut costs, enable delivery of services without leakages, reduce opportunities for graft, promote ease of doing business, leverage an increasingly non-tactile world, grow economies, have the potential to create millions of new jobs and, it appears, even help fight fake news. On the flip side, there are concerns of the cost of the emerging digital economy in terms of loss of traditional employment sectors, eroding the right to privacy, abetting authoritarian state-control of citizens’ lives, causing a s

By Ishan Joshi
September 19, 2019


South Korea and Japan have more in common than they think

Republished with permission for Asia News Network members by The Brookings Institution. With South Korea’s decision to scrap the 2016 military intelligence sharing agreement with Japan, the two sides have dramatically aggravated their fraught relationship. Bilateral ties had never been great, but in the past several weeks, a trade spat has snowballed into a confrontation that apparently has yet to reach rock bottom. Last month, Tokyo decided to remove South Korea from its list of favored trading partners, which includes the United States, Germany, France, and two dozen other countries, placing export curbs on industrial and high-tech p

By Asia News Network
September 16, 2019


Can Global Exchanges work?

Andrew Sheng for Asia News Network. HKEx’s (0388.HK) audacious $32 billion bid for London Stock Exchange Group (LSE.L) raised quite a few eyebrows on 9/11.   Three immediate questions were raised by the bid.   First, does the bid make sense for shareholders on a commercial basis?  Second, what are the strategic considerations for Hong Kong and global financial markets?  Third, what are the regulatory and geopolitical hurdles? My own policy is never to make any predictions on the prices or viability of any commercial deal but to let facts speak for themselves.   At present prices, HKEx is the third largest listed exchange in the world with a market cap of $40 billion, larger than the LSE ($31 billion) but smaller than the CME Group ($77 billion) and the Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE, $53 billion).   The fact that the LSE share price rose slightly after the bid announcement but remained lower th

By Asia News Network
September 16, 2019


The foreigner who stoked political chaos in Malaysia

For Asia News Network Editor’s Circle by Chong Lip Teck of Sin Chew Daily. Controversial Indian Muslim preacher Zakir Naik is on the wanted list in India due to his extreme religious remarks and alleged involvement in money laundering. Many Muslim countries have denied him entry. But in Malaysia, he is well received by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government. Within the coalition, however, there is a split because of him. The ground sentiment is also divided into two, on  racial and religious lines. One side has defended him while the other side asked for his repatriation. As a Muslim preacher, Zakir Naik is popular in the Muslim community. He has his charm. While promoting Islam, he would  downgrade other religions, especially the Hindus and Christians. But, as a guest in Malaysia, he has crossed the red line. If he is merely promoting Islam, no one is against him. But he insults other religions in his sp

By ANN Members
September 16, 2019